IT'S THE MOVIE OF FRIDAY Wham, thanks bam, John Hamm, who is captivating The Negotiator, says BRIAN VINER

<pre><pre>IT'S THE MOVIE OF FRIDAY Wham, thanks bam, John Hamm, who is captivating The Negotiator, says BRIAN VINER

The negotiator

Classification:

There is a touch of Cary Grant in North By Northwest on Jon Hamm in The Negotiator, an exciting suspense thriller that takes place mainly in Beirut in 1982, co-starring Rosamund Pike.

The former Mad Men star (right) plays Mason Skiles, a former diplomat whose publication in the early seventies in the Lebanese capital came to a tragically abrupt and violent end.

A decade later he is back in the United States, drinking too much and wasting his negotiating skills on local labor issues, until a message arrives; the CIA needs him back in Beirut and will not accept a no for an answer.

There is a touch of Cary Grant in North By Northwest on Jon Hamm in The Negotiator, an exciting film action thriller set in Beirut in 1982, co-starring Rosamund Pike, writes Brian Viner

There is a touch of Cary Grant in North By Northwest on Jon Hamm in The Negotiator, an exciting film action thriller set in Beirut in 1982, co-starring Rosamund Pike, writes Brian Viner

There is a touch of Cary Grant in North By Northwest on Jon Hamm in The Negotiator, an exciting film action thriller set in Beirut in 1982, co-starring Rosamund Pike, writes Brian Viner

The local head of the CIA has been kidnapped, and his captors will change him for one of the most wanted Palestinian terrorists in the world. For some reason, and no matter what we guess before the big revelation, Mason must negotiate the deal.

Soon he's out of his mind, forced to rely on innate charm and ingenuity, in ways that reminded me a little of Roger Thornhill, disheveled and disheveled, of Grant in Hitchcock's 1959 classic.

The difference is that Mason has plunged into a sectarian nightmare of his own, which is not relieved even when he joins his attractive CIA manager (Pike).

The horrors of Beirut in the midst of a civil war are very well evoked by director Brad Anderson, and Bourne writer Tony Gilroy has produced an intelligent and plausible script.

In the photo: Rosamund Pike in The Negotiator

In the photo: Rosamund Pike in The Negotiator

In the photo: Rosamund Pike in The Negotiator

Dog Days verdict (12A): Does not move in this queue

Classification:

Dog Days is a desperately lame romantic comedy set in Los Angeles, in which the lives of random strangers are intertwined mainly because they all bring their beloved canines to the same veterinarian.

The interconnection of numerous disparate characters in a romantic comedy is not new; Richard Curtis did it 15 years ago in Love Actually.

Unfortunately, any originality in the manufacture of dogs as a catalyst is undermined by the writing and direction of the lumpen, in what is actually a tense attempt of Woof Actually.

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